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Individual Highlight

New Adaptive Tools Enhance Shared Stewardship in Battling Asian Longhorned Beetle

Photo of Snapshot : Researchers and managers with the USDA Forest Service and Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are developing new tools that share the activities and results of the cooperative Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication programs, contributing to a more efficient response and speedier eradication of a potentially devastating nonnative invasive species.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Trotter, III, R. Talbot 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2020
Highlight ID : 1693


The ALB is an invasive insect that threatens some of the most iconic trees in eastern North America, including maples, willows, and poplars. In the United States, infestations have been found in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Carolina. Urban infestations in Boston, Chicago, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Jersey City have been successfully eradicated. However, infestations in heavily wooded landscapes such as southern Ohio, central Massachusetts, and coastal South Carolina remain under active management. Eradication programs depend on visually surveying individual trees to find infested hosts. In wooded landscapes this can mean surveying millions of individual trees, and multiple surveys may be required to achieve eradication. Previous collaboration between the USDA Forest Service and APHIS yielded dispersal models that can help identify the distribution of risk in an infested area and prioritize survey efforts. In 2020, a computer software tool called the “ALB Dynamic Risk v1.0” was expanded to integrate not only the dispersal of the insect, but the history, frequency, timing of surveys, and population growth rates to generate dynamic estimates of risk on the landscape. This tool delivers a consistent method to track the reduction in risk on the landscape as eradications programs progress and to identify parts of the landscape where surveys can provide the greatest progress toward eradication. It also can be adapted as new information becomes available.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Science and Technology

Program Areas